Friday, August 05, 2005

C'est Tout

Showtime's 'Queer as Folk' ends its 5-year run

That sound you'll hear Sunday night at 10:00, just as you're headed off to bed, will be my soft tears falling (and depending on how the show ends, possibly my loud sobs of sadness) as one of my favorite shows comes to an end. Sunday marks the finale of Queer as Folk. I know this show is not everyone's cup of tea, probably for the reasons Ray Richmond cites in his review of the finale:
It provides a satisfying capper to a series that perhaps hasn't received sufficient credit for paving the way to greater content freedom in television. What proved shocking at the turn of this century is no longer a big deal, in part because "Queer as Folk" has taken gay sexuality literally out of the closet and plunked it down in our living rooms -- often with brazen candor. A behavior once considered scandalously taboo as far as TV was concerned is now just another piece of the landscape, and creator-producer-writers Ron Cowen and Daniel Lipman deserve significant credit for single-handedly engineering the transformation (as does Showtime for bravely giving it the platform). While the soap opera-esque "Queer as Folk" wasn't always great television, it has been revolutionary nonetheless.
The five years of QAF coincide quite neatly with an important five-year period in my life, and as I've chronicled previously, the show helped me deal with the events of those years. It gave to me what straight people take for granted--an opportunity to see my life and my relationships projected on the screen. And while the five-year saga of David and Keith on Six Feet Under has probably been the more realistic and representative (at least until the kids showed up this season) one, the twists and turns between Brian Kinney and Justin Taylor have captivated me just as much, if often for very different reasons.

If you're straight, and if you promise not to impute onto my character the misdeeds of the characters in the show, I'd recommend that you give it a try on DVD. It's not always "great television," as Richmond says, but it works, and while it amps up the drama by packing every damn thing that can happen to a gay character into its 83-episode run, where else on TV can you see those things happen? After Sunday, unfortunately, nowhere.

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